Mud & Rainbows

By The Long Trail on 2014.02.26 In Trail Walks

Wet, soft earth or earthy matter, as on the ground after rain, at the bottom of a pond, or along the banks of a river; mire, that’s the definition of Mud.

Fast forward a month from the sunny bliss of Florida and mire is what I seem to be spending most of my time in, nearly always ankle high or above!

Muddy boots

My mind has now turned to getting fit for the long distance challenges that lay ahead later this year. The first test was a double header weekend of two very different events around the Parbold area near Wigan.  On the saturday was the Parbold Hill Race, the 44th according to the entry information. This was excellently organised by Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers.  It was about 6.75miles in total over a pretty route, great fun, well marshalled and a welcome mars bar at the finish.  I would throughly recommend this to anyone that is looking to get off road for a change.  The recent poor weather had left the course extremely muddy though, so I was grateful of the rudimental shower (a length of copper pipe with holes in connected to a water tanker) which allowed me to get the worst off my shoes.

With all that mud fresh in my mind I decided the challenge walk on the Sunday, which covered some of the same route as the run, would be a more gentle pace and I would break out the walking boots rather than trail shoes.  I was being joined on the 21mile Beacon Bash by my work colleague David and his dog Stan, I was also taking our dog Flora.  The walk was organised by South Lancashire LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association).  I love these events for several reasons, they are cheap to enter, relaxed atmosphere but most of all the food.  I admittedly have a sweet tooth and almost all checkpoints have cake, sweets and other goodies not to mention the pie and peas you get at the finish of this particular event.

It was a predictably slow affair, I have done this walk twice before and the ground was the heaviest it has ever been.  It proved hard on the legs and certainly towards the end I think we were all feeling it a bit, even the dogs.  I had a report after that Stan, a terrier cross, slept for nearly 2 days after.  I think possibly David would have as well if he didn’t have to be in work the next day!

One tired Flora after the Beacon Bash

One tired and grubby Flora after the Beacon Bash

A week on and I was back out on the hills again.  This time with Harry and Marie, friends from our running club.  They are doing a lot of long distance events this year as well.  We are all taking part in another LDWA event in June called the 3 Rings of Shap which is 62.5miles in Cumbria.  With it being such a long distance we will envitably cover some of the route in the dark so the opportunity came up to recce the 3rd ring.

3 rings monument

Monument at the highest point of the 3rd ring

20miles was completed on a windy but clear morning, fortunately joined by a friend of theirs, Richard, who had done the course several times.  Thanks to Richard’s excellent guide work I feel a whole lot happier about tackling the full event in June.  Although as chance would have it every time we were talking about directions a rainbow appeared in the direction we needed to go, if only that rainbow would be there in June!!


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About Me

This blog is an average guy's tales from, among other things, long distance walks, treks and running events. 

My name is Nick and I enjoy a fairly active and busy life. As well as being dad, husband and running club organiser I also like a challenge. 2013 was my year of Marathons and now 2014 is the year of long distance events.